(February 19, 2023 / JNS) At least five people were killed and more than a dozen injured in an alleged Israeli airstrike on a target in Damascus, Syria, overnight Saturday, according to Reuters.
The strike targeted a building in the city’s Kafr Sousa neighborhood, and damaged several structures near a heavily guarded security complex linked to Iran, according to the report.
The Israel Defense Forces did not comment on the report, in accordance with Jerusalem’s long standing policy regarding specific foreign operations.
Last month, seven people were killed near the Syria-Iraq border when a truck convoy was hit by unidentified aircraft, according to Saudi media. That strike occurred near the city of Al-Bukamal, according to Al Arabiya.
The Saudi outlet quoted Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman as stating that the trucks were transporting Iranian weapons.
No country or group claimed responsibility for the strikes, though Al Arabiya noted that both the United States and Israel have admitted to conducting airstrikes in the region in the past.
On Friday, BBC Persian reported that an Israeli-linked oil tanker was recently attacked in the Persian Gulf by Iranian forces. The attack, which according to the report took place on February 10, targeted the Liberia-flagged Campo Square, whose owner is Zodiac Maritime, a shipping company led by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.
The report noted that the incident involved “Shahed-136” suicide drones as well as Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval vessels, based on briefings by U.S. military sources. These are the same unmanned aerial vehicles that have been used as kamikaze drones by Russia in Ukraine, having been provided by the Iranian regime in recent months.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Israel was responsible for a drone strike on a military facility inside Iran.
Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said on Friday at the annual Munich Security Conference that Iran is currently engaged in negotiations to sell dozens of countries advanced weapons ahead of the upcoming expiration of a U.N. arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.
“Iran is no longer a ‘local supplier’ serving proxies in the Middle East. It is a ‘multinational corporation,’ a global exporter of advanced weapons,” said Gallant. “From Belarus in Eastern Europe to Venezuela in South America—we have seen Iran delivering UAVs with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. In fact, Iran is currently holding discussions to sell advanced weapons … to no less than 50 different countries.”
Gallant called on world powers to take concrete steps to prevent the proliferation of Iranian arms once the U.N. arms embargo expires on Oct. 18 in accordance with the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from which the United States withdrew in May 2018.
The embargo was established by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which formally codified the nuclear pact. It bans Tehran from exporting ballistic missiles and drones with a range of more than 300 kilometers and a payload of more than 500 kilograms until October 2023.
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